2017 Book Reads and 2018 Reading Hopes

As has become my annual tradition, here’s a list of the books I read during the previous year. In 2017 I read 66 books, beating my 2016 record of 64. Beating 2016’s record was my goal, so go me. For 2018, my goal is to read a non-fiction book concurrently with every fiction read. I’ve rarely been one to read more than one book at a time, so we’ll see how this goes. It’s an experiment, and I won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t work out.

So, without further ado or adon’t, here are my

Books I Read in 2017

Fave reads have * or ** or ***, depending on how much I enjoyed them.

1. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant *
2. Definitely Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries, #6) by Charlaine Harris
3. Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3) by Tana French
4. V by A.C. Crispin
5. Steelflower (Steelflower Chronicles, #1) by Lilith Saintcrow
6. The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale
7. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King **
8. Redshirts by John Scalzi
9. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl *
10. Gathering Blue (Giver Quartet #2) by Lois Lowry *
11. Messenger (Giver Quartet #3 by Lois Lowry *
12. Son (Giver Quartet #4) by Lois Lowry
13. Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
14. The Four Forges (The Elven Ways, #1) by Jenna Rhodes (Rhondi Vilott Salsitz)
15. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
16. Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold *
17. Zer0es by Chuck Wendig
18. The Descent by Jeff Long *
19. Thunderbird (Miriam Black, #4) by Chuck Wendig *
20. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
21. IT by Stephen King *
22. The Sandman: PRELUDES & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
23. The Broken Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy, #2) by N.K. Jemisin *
24. The Gate of the Cat by Andre Norton
25. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs *
26. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
27. ‘Tis by Frank McCourt
28. I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier *
29. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
30. Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
31. Flight in Yiktor by André Norton
32. The BFG by Roald Dahl
33. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby *
34. Maiden of Greenwold (Choose Your Own Adventure: Dragontales #11) by Rhondi Vilott
35. Cyndere’s Midnight (Auralia Thread #2) by Jeffrey Overstreet
36. The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl (The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq., Vol. II) by Ishbelle Bee
37. The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks
38. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
39. Updraft (Bone Universe, #1) by Fran Wilde
40. The Magicians (Magicians Trilogy, #1) by Lev Grossman
41. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
42. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer
43. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2 by Sarah J. Maas
44. Author Anonymous: A True Story by E.K. Blair
45. The City Stained Red (Bring Down Heaven, #1) by Sam Sykes
46. The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
47. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
48. Amatka by Karin Tidbeck
49. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
50. Sweet Dreams Are Made of Teeth by Richard Roberts
51. After the Woods by Kim Savage
52. The Troubles Keeper by Susan May
53. The Black Swan Effect by Felicity Dale *
54. Jesus Is Family by Jon Zens *
55. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah Harkness *
56. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis *
57. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, graphic novel adapted by Charles Dixon, illustrated by David Wenzel
58. Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury
59. The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2) by Brent Weeks **
60. Closed Hearts (Mindjack Trilogy, #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn
61. Death Pope, (Death Pope, Vol. 1) by John Oakes
62. Death Pope: Black Flame (Death Pope, Vol. 2) by John Oakes
63. Harbinger of the Storm (Obsidian and Blood, #2) by Aliette de Bodard
64. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert ***
65. Green Darkness by Anya Seton
66. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood *

Happy reading, all. 🙂

current events; also, stereoscopic vision really freaks me out sometimes

The second half of this entry’s title was a note I emailed to myself more than 3 years ago under subject “blog not tweet.” Actually, the email’s subject line reads, “blog not twwet,” but Ima chalk that up to typo-ing. As it turns out, there are twelve emails nested under that subject, so I’m sharing their content here. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Blog Not Twwet, Because Clearly I Can’t Spell

It is not a happy thing when the baby eats a dead bug. *SIGH*
(2016 Note: This, too, is a message catapulted into this future from about three years ago. The baby has since turned into a preschooler, apparently suffering no ill effects from having consumed dead insect carapace.)

HEY I JUST MET YOU, AND THIS IS CRAZY
BUT LET’S TELL RIDDLES AND I’LL EAT YOU MAYBE.
(2016 Note: I’m assuming this references Gollum.)

Your choices change the direction of other people’s lives. You are not isolated.

(This one’s emphasized because: important.)

Sometimes you just gotta take a few minutes and shave your legs.
(2016 Note: NO.)

Floor messing with head PIC
(2016 Note: I have no idea what this means.)

And now, it seems, quotes:

“@BenHoward87: If you see a centaur, remember it is not your friend. It is a mythical creature and as such does have the capability for rational thought.”

“@BenHoward87: Peanuts cartoons + Morrissey lyrics = the hilarity of existential despair

“@scalzi: Most nerdy t-shirts just don’t seem that clever to me anymore. Clearly, my next t-shirt should read WHY ARE YOU ON MY LAWN”

Remember when Scully wore shoulder pads?

Remember when desktop monitors were the size of anvils?

Remember when we couldn’t Google anything?

Remember when payphones?

“@LeVostreGC: Siri, wher ys the horse and the ridere? Siri, wher ys the horn that was blowinge?”

Wher in the worlde ys Carmen Sandiego?

Just so you know, kinesio-taping your stomach to pull your abs together is not for sissies. #diastasisrecti
(2016 Note: I have a blog post about this. Search for it if you will. I’m too lazy to link to it right now.)

That awkward moment when you look in the mirror and there’s an ant crawling in your hair.

It occurs to me that I haven’t performed a solo in 7 years.
(2016 Note: It’s now been 10 years. I miss singing for audiences.)

Rain. Thunder. Contented. Sigh.
(2016 Note: Weirdness: As I’ve been copying & pasting the last ten lines or so, I’ve been listening to “Love, Reign O’er Me” by The Who. I didn’t know this line was coming up.)

I own a banana slicer and I am not ashamed.

In other news…

As part of my 2016 endeavor to read only women writers, I am currently in the middle of Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED. It is UTTERLY BRILLIANT. It’s one of those books that makes me want to do nothing but read. I resent Thanksgiving Day tomorrow because it will steal me away from this novel. I need to be working on my own WIP (newly retitled THE ELVEN DEAD AND OTHER LEGENDS OF THE LIGHT-WALKERS), but I’d rather read Novik’s book than work on my own.

DASH IT ALL.

P.S. In addition to random “blog not twwet,” I also ran across various Consortium emails from five and more years ago. I let them suck me into reading them, and now I just feel sad. I miss the Consortium-in-its-heyday so much. Being continually involved and multiple-times-daily connected with other artists was a balm to my soul and a life-giver to my spirit. Author-publishing is a lonely business. I desperately miss all-but-living-with other artists, back when everything was running smoothly. We made magic.

NEW BOOK!!!

By-the-by…

The Elevator is out!

Which is, *ahem*, not to say that the elevator is out-of-order. In my humble opinion, it is rather functional. IT IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. Feast thou thine eyes upon this:

elevator_cvr_lrg

Buy now!
Kindle
Nook
Inktera (formerly Page Foundry)
24Symbols
iTunes
Kobo

Y’all, I gotta tell ya, I am just tickled all shades of hot pink to make this book available to you. Most of the time (aside for the occasional bouts of wailing despair) I had a blast writing it. Its first draft flowed from my fingertips (read: creative brain) more easily than any draft manuscript I’ve ever keyboarded. The revisions weren’t always fun, but they kept me interested and increased my own love for the story and its characters. Those characters actually took over the story to a greater degree than I’ve ever experienced in any other story (with the possible exception of Tomato Electric Destroy Force 9: Writer Dearest and the Interlopers, but that’s another story and shall be published another time). At any rate, I HAD FUN.

I hope you do, too. When you read it, I mean. Oh, and in your daily lives as well, my dear inklings. Don’t worry. I got yer back.

Below, please find (PLEASE! FIND IT! IT MIGHT BE MISSING!) the cover copy for The Elevator. I owe friend and fellow wordslinger Josh Unruh many heaps of thanks for helping me punch this up. He’s good at cover copy. I ain’t.

So, without further ado or adon’t:

The Elevator

Went Banning just wants to find his father. Not the cold-hearted authoritarian who raised him, but his real father: a being of cosmic myth and legend, Went’s last chance at love and acceptance.

To find this man, all Went has to do is journey across infinity to the heart of the multiverse.

In an elevator.

This contraption of fanciful magic, futuristic science, or both, allows him to travel the vast reaches of stars and moons and planets, following the series of clues his real father left behind.

But Went runs afoul of Carrigan Bell, a brutish slave trader with a core of all-consuming chaos. Two guttersnipes and a cyborg also stumble into Bell’s clutches. Went doesn’t know if his fellow captives are help or hindrance.

But he must decide quickly. Carrigan Bell perverts everything he touches, and he’s more than willing to spread his dark horror to his captives and across the universe.

Across every universe.

Went’s search for his father will lead Bell right to the control room of Reality. From here, Bell’s dark chaos could swallow all existence. The only way Went can stop him is to reach the heart of the multiverse first. But can Went bring himself to give up everything he’s ever wanted in order to save everything that is?
104,000 words

Happy reading!

poem: coming full circle (@fullcircleokc)

And here, dahlings, my ode to Full Circle Bookstore, my favorite bookstore in Oklahoma City. I penned the first draft on one of my first visits to Full Circle after moving back here from Germany in 2007.

The poem is a snapshot of that evening as the husband and I sat and perused and listened and relaxed. A little bit of magic touched the universe that night.

coming full circle

the smell of new books is intoxicating
like the sexy blood-rush scent of a man’s cologne

why do we want to breathe so badly?
i must live here

we wouldn’t have to sleep
on the skinny patterned rug in front of the fireplace
we could lay out an air mattress
tuck it behind bookshelves during the day

a ring of ethereals
perches of movie theater seats
and plays celtic music
a girl gets up to riverdance with the flute

while my fingernails tip-tap the
(intoxicating) rhythm
on my take-home box of fettuccini from up the hall.

Courtney Cantrell
 
 

me with full circle's own pearl the buffalo on the night of the poem's birth

me with full circle’s own pearl the buffalo on the night of the poem’s birth

Stains of Grace: Supermurgitroid Cover Art!

Hello, my dearest inklings!

Today, I start my final edits on Stains of Grace, the third and final novel in my paranormal fantasy trilogy Demons of Saltmarch. To celebrate, I’m giving you lovelies a preview of the Stains cover art, with which I am beyond thrilled. So, without further ado or adon’t, here it is:

HUGEST thanks to Julie V. Photography for the incredible artwork.

Another HUGEST thanks to Amy Nickerson Design for — as always — the superb trade dress.

These artists have done cover art and trade dress for all three Saltmarch novels. Their work blows my mind every time, and I feel that they make me look a whole lot more professional than I really am. ; )

Special thanks to the lovely Shauna, who was good enough to pose as main character Anne Waylock.

Stains of Grace is now on Goodreads, if you’d like to add it to your to-read shelf!

Specific publication date will be forthcoming. It’ll be before the end of the month, so I will keep you posted!

Being an author is so supermurgitroid, I can’t stand it. : )

Click to embiggen the cramazingness!